Ryden (Alexis Bledel) has graduated from high school and doesnít know what to do with herself.She opted for a condo she canít afford, since she failed to land that one job at that specific publishing firm, and so she moves back home with her wacky family, forced to hock luggage and torn between a relationship with a purely platonic pal in his twenties (Zach Gilford) with opportunities of his own and a soft-spoken neighbor in his thirties (Rodrigo Santoro) who may be able to help poor Ryden outÖ
Öbecause she sure couldnít do it for herself if Kelly Fremonís screenplay is to be believed. Mind you, Bledel is a convincingly lost soul, a Zooey Deschanel lookalike who registers more vulnerability when that actress would come off as flaky, but sheís not given much more to play at than exasperation over boys and over her meddling family. If anything, Post Grad is almost proudly detached from genuine post-collegiate concerns and potential female empowerment, and maybe knowing there just may not have been a movie to be made from just that struggle alone (at least not by her), Fremon opts to pad the proceedings with sitcom-level slapstick and soap-worthy melodrama in a way that suggests that animation veteran Vicky Jensen, making her live-action directorial debut, doesnít know what she wants her movie to be as much as Ryden doesnít know. Gilford and Santoro are equally photogenic beaus, Jane Lynch and Carol Burnett out-snipe one another as Rydenís mother and grandmother, and weíre treated to one-scene cameos by the likes of J.K. Simmons, Craig Robinson and Demetri Martin, all in the key of shrug.
It should be said that Ryden and we, the audience are lucky to have a dad played by Michael Keaton, who brings the funny to whatever flailing heís tasked with. Yeah, Iím not sure if something like an impromptu cat burial belongs in a movie called Post Grad either, but he makes it work, almost relishing something so broad in the wake of his stoic performance in The Merry Gentleman. How odd it is to see at least one person whoís matured well enough to pull off the immature, but in a movie that can veer from tearful goodbye to wacky arrest within the same scene, itís nice to see a grown-up in charge from time to time.As a token romantic gesture, Gilfordís character offers Bledelís an Eskimo Pie early on, if only so she can eventually return the favor, and that bit of product placement seems to be fitting for a comedy like 'Post Grad': itís simple, itís safe and itís prone to falling apart the longer it sticks around.